I have a terrible time not buying too much when I go to the farmers’ market on Saturday morning. All the fruits and vegetables are displayed so artistically and are so fresh that I have the tendency to want to put a little bit of everything into my basket. New items appear each week and it won’t be long before vine ripened heirloom tomatoes make a showing. Right now berries are at their peak and we will enjoy them every week until they disappear from sight. I couldn’t resist a few stalk of rhubarb because I wanted to try to duplicate little rhubarb tarts we found in Paris. Each afternoon we stopped at a patisserie and selected several sweets for that evening’s dessert. On this particular day we chose a raspberry mille feuille and a rhubarb tart. We bought just one tart to share and were sorry we didn’t splurge on several more.
A flaky, buttery crust was filled with large pieces of sweetly tart rhubarb in the most delicious filling you could imagine – not a custard and not the almond frangipane filling that I use in several other favorite tart recipes. I experimented with several ingredients and finally settled on a mixture of eggs, sour cream and just a little bit of almond flour.
My tart pans are shallow and it doesn’t take a long time to bake whatever is in them so I poached the rhubarb pieces in a sugar syrup for a couple of minutes to give them a head start. I brushed the tops of the hot tarts with the leftover rhubarb flavored syrup.
I was very happy with the filling and think it will pair perfectly with our beautiful Northwest fruits as they come into season…apricots, pears, peaches, cherries…so many wonderful things to choose from.
I had a little extra filling and baked it in small dishes I use for crème brûlée. It was delicious without the crust too.
- 1-1/3 cups flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 pound rhubarb, cut into ½-inch pieces
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- ⅓ cup almond flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a food processor combine flour and sugar. Add cold butter and pulse until fine crumbs form. Add egg yolks and whirl just until dough holds together firmly. Pat into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Press pastry dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch tart pan with removable rim. Bake in a 300 degree oven until pale gold, about 20 minutes. This was enough dough to make 5 4-inch tart shells.
- Rinse rhubarb, trim and discard ends, and cut stalks into ½-inch pieces. Mix together sugar and ¾ cup water in a 10-12 inch frying pan. Set over medium-low heat. When sugar has dissolved add rhubarb and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft. Remove from the syrup. SAVE SYRUP.
- Whisk together eggs, sugar, sour cream, almond meal and vanilla.
- Add rhubarb pieces to the tart shell, arrange evenly. If using small tarts, divide the rhubarb evenly. Pour the filling over the rhubarb pieces.
- Bake in a 325 degree oven until the filling is just set, don't over cook. 20-25 minutes for the large tart, 12-15 minutes for the tarts.
- Cool the tarts for 10 minutes then brush with remaining rhubarb syrup. If the syrup is thin cook over medium low heat until it thickens to the consistency of maple syrup. If it is too thick add a teaspoon or two of water and reheat just a little bit until it can be brushed over the top of the tart..